BRING ON THE CHAMPIONS
It’s been just 108 days since Chelsea conquered Europe with a 1-0 win over Manchester City in Porto. Tonight, the defence of their title begins.
Welcome to West London for our live coverage of the Blues’ opening game in Group H of the Champions League, a home match with Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Thomas Tuchel’s team have picked up where they left off at the Estadio do Dragao in May, unbeaten at the start of this new season, having already added the UEFA Super Cup to their trophy cabinet.
The return of Romelu Lukaku has elevated expectations to even greater heights at Stamford Bridge, and a rejuvenated Chelsea are now forecasted to challenge for silverware on all fronts.
A visit from the Russian champions will be a testing start to the continental campaign, but the Premier League club are overwhelming favourites to see off Zenit, and then top a group that also includes Juventus and Malmo.
Zenit are also unbeaten so far this season, and are already back in their familiar top spot after five wins and two draws from their opening seven games.
Now, Sergei Semak’s men will be hoping to take that form into Europe, and are hoping to progress from the group stage for the first time in six years.
Among the Russians and Brazilians in Semak’s squad is a familiar face, and tonight’s fixture will see the return of former Southampton and Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren to England.
Kick-off at the Bridge is at 8pm, and we’ll have confirmation of tonight’s teams for you shortly.